Oregon State defensive lineman Stephen Paea didn’t just break the NFL Combine bench press record on Sunday afternoon, he shattered it. Paea joined the rest of the defensive linemen on Sunday as they went through initial workouts ahead of Monday’s field session and impressed, as expected. After going down at the Senior Bowl with an injury, he saw his stock slip, but after showing off his strength on the bench, Paea opened some eyes again at the combine.
Paea put up 49 reps at 225 pounds in less than a minute, shattering the combine record of 45 set in 2010 by Mitch Petrus. Let that sink in for a moment. That’s almost a rep a second at 225 pounds. Though it’s just the bench press and isn’t the deciding factor in slotting a player in the draft, it’s hard to ignore such an impressive feat of strength. If Paea was looking to start his combine off with a bang, he did just that.
Before injuring his knee at the Senior Bowl, Paea was seen as an easy first-rounder, with some even projecting the Seattle Seahawks would pick him. Since then, he’s been on the outside looking in as scouts wait to see how he recovers before deciding whether to use a first-round pick on him. Paea has the resume and accolades, bringing home the Pac-10 defensive player of the year award in 2010, and now has the impressive measurable statistics.
For more results and numbers, check out our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.